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Global Go To Think Tank Index (GGTTI) 2020 launched                    111,75 Think Tanks across the world ranked in different categories.                SDPI is ranked 90th among “Top Think Tanks Worldwide (non-US)”.           SDPI stands 11th among Top Think Tanks in South & South East Asia & the Pacific (excluding India).            SDPI notches 33rd position in “Best New Idea or Paradigm Developed by A Think Tank” category.                SDPI remains 42nd in “Best Quality Assurance and Integrity Policies and Procedure” category.              SDPI stands 49th in “Think Tank to Watch in 2020”.            SDPI gets 52nd position among “Best Independent Think Tanks”.                           SDPI becomes 63rd in “Best Advocacy Campaign” category.                   SDPI secures 60th position in “Best Institutional Collaboration Involving Two or More Think Tanks” category.                       SDPI obtains 64th position in “Best Use of Media (Print & Electronic)” category.               SDPI gains 66th position in “Top Environment Policy Tink Tanks” category.                SDPI achieves 76th position in “Think Tanks With Best External Relations/Public Engagement Program” category.                    SDPI notches 99th position in “Top Social Policy Think Tanks”.            SDPI wins 140th position among “Top Domestic Economic Policy Think Tanks”.               SDPI is placed among special non-ranked category of Think Tanks – “Best Policy and Institutional Response to COVID-19”.                                            Owing to COVID-19 outbreak, SDPI staff is working from home from 9am to 5pm five days a week. All our staff members are available on phone, email and/or any other digital/electronic modes of communication during our usual official hours. You can also find all our work related to COVID-19 in orange entries in our publications section below.    The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) is pleased to announce its Twenty-third Sustainable Development Conference (SDC) from 14 – 17 December 2020 in Islamabad, Pakistan. The overarching theme of this year’s Conference is Sustainable Development in the Times of COVID-19. Read more…       FOOD SECIRITY DASHBOARD: On 4th Nov, SDPI has shared the first prototype of Food Security Dashboard with Dr Moeed Yousaf, the Special Assistant to Prime Minister on  National Security and Economic Outreach in the presence of stakeholders, including Ministry of National Food Security and Research. Provincial and district authorities attended the event in person or through zoom. The dashboard will help the government monitor and regulate the supply chain of essential food commodities.

Post 18th Amendment.

Pakistan’s 18th Amendment: impact on drug and human trafficking and criminal justice

Pakistan occupies an important geostrategic location in the transit and trade of illegal goods. The country shares a 2,450 km border with Afghanistan, the world’s largest producer of opiates. UNODC reports that nearly 40% of the heroin from Afghanistan is trafficked through Pakistan.  This easy availability of opiates (as well as synthetic drugs) has resulted in a growing population of drug users that pose an additional burden on the already overwhelmed public health system. Organized crime in Pakistan exists in various forms, orchestrated by complex informal networks of supplier rings, wholesalers, financiers, protectors and patrons, resulting in an extensive illegal network. Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA, on the border with Afghanistan, are particularly vulnerable. Law enforcement agencies struggle to counter these networks, particularly at the borders, at a serious cost to governance, development and security – not only in Pakistan but around the world.

The primary aim of this study is to analyze the implications of the 18th Amendment on federal and provincial functions related to the rule of law and drug-related health in Pakistan. For the purpose of this study the 18th Amendment is examined in three tiers (using a governance perspective): legislative changes and legal implications; institutional changes and administrative implications; and fiscal changes, and financial implications. The purpose is to inform and position development assistance in the new framework. It finds that while the provinces now have enhanced capacity to plan and target development programs, a major issue remains to be that of a lack of political will. Contact person:

Environmental Analysis of Brick Production Units in Pakistan

(January, 2009)

Also funded by SKAT, the overall objectives of the research were to provide an environmental assessment of kiln workers. This study aimed at undertaking the assessment of emissions from Bull Trench Kilns (BTKs) in relation to Environment Protection Agency’s (EPA) standards, tabulation of emissions from various types of kilns to draw down a regional comparison, to evaluate the effects of kiln emissions on urban health and tabulate the mitigation measures adopted by the concerned agencies.

Political Barometer Phase I

Partner:Heinrich Boll Stiftung (HBS) & Monthly Herald

Duration: June 2013 to December 2013

Locale:? Islamabad, Karachi Lahore, Peshawar & Quetta

Status: ?Closed

Team Member: Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Shakeel Ahmed


The advent of political opinion surveys may well be an indicator of electoral democracy’s evolution and maturity in Pakistan. In the run up to general elections 2013 in Pakistan, an attempt was made in December 2012 to understand the factors, which affect the voting decision of people. Respondents were divided along the fault-line of religion, sect, ethnicity, ideology, party affiliation and geographical location across 54 districts. They were probed to assess their policy preferences on issues such as economic empowerment, religious freedom, access to information, health, education, drone attacks, trade with India, defense etc.

About 1100 respondents were interviewed in 54 districts of Pakistan.


  • To gauge perceptions on politics and opinion of people on socio-political issues
  • To predict the election outcomes
  • To study people’s voting behaviours


  • Survey identified an alarming trend, which was related on the radicalization of society, as 53% respondents wanted the government to promote hijab, 30% considered honor killing acceptable and justified, 26% wanted to ban women working along men, and 19% wanted a ban on women contesting elections and taking part in sports.
  • Some 42% respondents believed that interprovincial relations in Pakistan were disharmonious and there was almost an equal demand for the creation of new provinces. From an ethnic perspective, 55% of Sindhis favored PPP, 34% of Pakhtuns favored PTI, and 43% of Punjab supported PML-N whereas 47% of Baloch favored BNP-Mengal.
  • Survey findings indicate that PTI derives support from all ages, dispelling the notion that the PTI’s vote bank is concentrated in youth. PML-N vote bank appeared to have remained stable while the PPP’s seemed to have declined significantly, whose voters appeared to have shifted towards PTI
  • Majority of the respondents were divided on major policy issues. In December 2012, at least 29% respondents expressed their intention to vote for Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), 24.7% pledged support for Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), and 20.3% showed a preference for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)
  • The findings were carried by Herald Magazine that brought a special issue on SDPI’s Survey findings in February 2013

SDPI Political Barometer: A Study of Socio-Political Preferences of People of Pakistan

  • Voter preferences: The political contest
  • Political Barometer: A measure of citizen perceptions on national issues
  • Citizen perspectives on Pakistan?s foreign relations?
  • Media influence on political preferences
  • Societal reflections on gender issues in Pakistan?
  • Societal reflections on inclusion of minorities
  • The importance of culture and voter preferences in the context of cultural arts
  • Governance in Pakistan: Gauging institutional control?
  • Civil military ties and balance of power
  • Domestic policy and internal conflicts?
  • Interprovincial relations, implications for Elections 2013
  • Societal perceptions on the state of corruption in Pakistan

Pakistan Political Barometer Phase II (A Study of Public Opinion – Voters Preferences and Political Parties’ Popularity across Pakistan)

Partner: Heinrich Boll Stiftung (HBS) & Monthly Herald

Duration: March 2013 to May 2013

Locale:  Select districts of KP, Balochistan, Sindh, Punjab

Team Member: Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri

After the successful completion of the first study on political barometer, a second study was carried out, two weeks prior to the election 2013. The second phase looked at the rise and fall in popularity of political parties across the four provinces of Pakistan. The study compared voter preferences and the popularity of political parties in 2008 and 2013. The analysis took into account provincial, regional, rural, urban, gender, and age specific preferences. Based on the respondents voting choices in 2013 variations in the popularity of political parties were examined. The study also examined as to how these variations had affected the political landscape since 2008. A significant change in the country’s political landscape clearly emerged from the analysis.

The respondents included 56% from Punjab, 23% from Sindh, 5% from Balochistan, and 16% from KP. Registered voters in each province were divided into rural and urban populations, i.e. to 67% and 33% respectively. A questionnaire was designed to gauge the perceptions and preferences of voters of different age groups across the four provinces.


  • To make a comparative analysis of peoples voting perceptions with respect to region, locality (urban and rural), gender (male and female),and age
  • To determine the rise and fall in political parties popularity in the 2013 General Elections


  • In the 2008 elections, 45.1% respondents voted for PPP, 29.2% for PML-N, 7.7% for PML-Q, 3.1% for ANP, 4% for JUI-F, and 1.2% for MQM.
  •  A week before the general election, the support for PPP reduced to 27%. PML-N gained 4% in popularity among the respondents, as 33% expressed the intention to vote for PML-N in the 2013 general election. PTI, which boycotted the 2008 elections, seemed to have created a huge dent in PPP’s vote bank, according to the survey. 22% respondents indicated that they would vote for PTI in 2013 elections. The inclusive in support for PTI and PML-N when compared with the 2008 polls represents a net loss for PPP. JI appeared to be another winner, gaining 3% in political preferences votes and emerging as the 4th most popular party among the respondents. PML-Q and ANP lost 5.8% and 2% in popularity among voters respectively as compared to their votes in the 2008 elections. MQM support seems to be the most stable, having gained 0.6% popularity according to our 2013 survey.
  • The results of the study on voters preference were in close conjunction with the results of the election 2013 hence underscoring the reliability of the perception survey.